Soy-Free | Oil-Free | Gluten-Free
Yield: 4 cheese wheels
Equipment: food processor | four 1-cup heat-safe bowls | 4 cheesecloth squares | ridged bottom aging box
4 cups raw cashews, soaked for 24 hours
½ tsp sea salt + more for salting
1/8 tsp mesophilic culture
1/8 tsp penicillium candidum
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Return them to the soaking container, add boiling water to cover completely and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain; DO NOT RINSE.
- Add the drained cashews and salt to a food processor and process until silky smooth and no grit remains. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Be patient. This step is going to take several minutes.
- Add cultures and salt; process briefly to incorporate.
- Turn the paste into a glass bowl, cover loosely and leave in dark place such as pantry or cupboard, or on kitchen counter out of direct sunlight for 24 hours.
Line four 1-cup molds with cheesecloth; divide the paste evenly between the molds and press it firmly into the mold; cover loosely and refrigerate in the warmest part of the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Carefully remove one of the cheeses from the box – it will be very soft – and gently unwrap it. Sprinkle all sides of the cheese lightly with salt. Place the cheese into the aging box and repeat with remaining cheeses. Cover the box loosely and return it to the refrigerator.
- Daily: Examine and turn the cheeses; wipe any excess moisture from the box and lid; cover the box loosely and return to the refrigerator. The cheeses will become firmer over time. Continue the daily ritual of turning the cheeses and wiping the box of any excess moisture for 4 to 7 weeks.
- When the cheese covered in white mold, wrap each wheel in cheese paper and store in the refrigerator. The cheese may be enjoyed at any stage of aging. The longer it ages, the sharper and firmer it will become.